Fork

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While sitting in a cafeteria one day I heard a nurse apparently instructing her dementia patient, “stab the meat with the fork”. I only hear of stabbing in newspapers. Stabbing,  a violent way to get hurt  but to get forked must be something else. When I was ten years old, I got forked.

Hanging at an angle from the ceiling, looking around figuring my location, trying to go back at my before. I usually know what I did, what I’m doing and wanting to do or where I was, where am I or where I want to go. Right now it isn’t a priority, instead I am consumed with an immediate uncommon but identifiable sensation my whole body is in, it is light as a feather.

I’ve never been a feather, when I was much younger we used to play with chicken feathers after my mother kills a chicken for dinner. After plucking each feather from the poor bird we would gather them from the palm of our hands and blow as many as we could, let it stay floating on the air, watch them fall gently and very slowly to the ground, the ones whose feather stay longest on air, wins.

My body was light as a feather, it must be, otherwise how could I stay hanging on this space. On the other hand this body isn’t moving or swaying at all like a feather, it is tied up with no tension or stress something like a rubber band, but, suspended by an unknown force. Of all my five senses only one is working, my eyes roving around as far as it could see and an extra sense one actively figuring out everything, my consciousness. Everything is quiet and people in white clothes are silently  walking, they have legs, hands and arms picking up tools from a table working. No foul or sweet smell lingering.

There is no time to think of past or future, I need to identify a familiar place or face to help me find my way. From the top view of my location I see the faces of ladies in white clothes and cap, faces none of which I know of but they look like nurses. Yes, nurses, I am in a hospital. Still a question, “why am I up here floating in the ceiling?” My eyes wander down my lap I visibly identify this bright colored small striped princess dress I am on.

I remember wearing it in a school christmas party when I was eight years old. I kept wearing it until the following year when one of my characteristically demure classmate said, “your dress is too short”, I must have grown taller.

Beneath the dress I don’t see anything, I have no feet but don’t need it, I am floating, anyway. Still I look around for more clues until I glance on the left side of the room, there is a bed, a man in white gown standing on the head and I recognize the body on the bed, it’s me. What? Why is my body there? Is my body dead? Why I am floating here? On the right side of the bed I finally recognize my mother, her hair tied in a bun wearing her green batik pantsuit with sleeveless top.

In all of my adventurous younger childhood years I played all around the neighborhood, however, never in all those years that my mother fetches me. Inspite the joyful experiences, meeting new friends and exciting childhood, at a certain point during the game, all of us kids would disintegrate like ripple on silent water, we all go home. Home. Mother. A familiar place, face, and event.

All this time is an unanswered question, “why am I floating up here? Hello, I am addressing this question to anyone here.” I see the man’s mouth moving in circles as if in conversation, silence is still the mode at this point. I am not hearing anything. While my mother, her arms wrap around her waist, her mouth close, her eyes directed at the man across her who I now conclude is a doctor since I am in a hospital. They are in conversation I might as well listen to these people, learn what is happening, what are they talking about so I would know what to do. If this is death, at least I should know that I am. Somebody has to tell me that I am dead. I should be the first person to know.

I decide to get closer. As soon as I “decide”, I heard that same, familiar, sweet voice of my mother, my left arm felt the cool leatherette covering the hospital bed, my bare legs sensing the cold and damp air inside the emergency room and my eyelid flip open. They could have covered me with a blanket, but it is late to do it now, we are advised to go home, no bleeding or scratches on me.

What happened before that as I learned later  I fell unconscious upon seeing a bicycle running into me as I was crossing the street.

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